Based in East London, a young British DJ and producer Tjaro creates chunky, bass-heavy music for dancefloors laced with infectious hooks and riffs. He has honed his skills through working with some of the great names in contemporary club music like Tom Findlay from Groove Armada, and Andy Williams from Yam Who and Midnight Riot.
Tjaro announced his arrival this summer with the release of the ‘Discreet’ EP, a two-track release that highlighted his musical versatility and incorporated aspects of deep house, tech and melodic techno, the title track from which was supported by Pete Tong on his Radio 1 show. Refusing to stay in one lane, Tjaro left turns once again for his next single, the garage-inflected deep house cut ‘What We’re Feeling’.
We sat down with Tjaro to talk about his new single and future plans. In addition, he recorded an exclusive mix for us, for the 170th Klubikon Podcast.
What was your first experience with electronic music, and how do you think it shaped your career?
I remember watching a documentary on Daft Punk around four years ago, which broke down their career and how they have had such a huge impact on the world of dance music. The sound of it seemed so alien to me, and ultimately opened my eyes to a whole other world of music. After that, I was hooked!
What is one inspiring musical reference point you keep coming back to as a producer?
One musical moment I often find myself coming back to is ‘BBY’ by Overmono. One of my favourite tracks I’ve heard over the last few years – so simple but so unique!
Your new single ‘What We’re Feeling’ – would you describe this as house, garage, or something else?
To me, it’s a mixture of both. The drums and bass line are heavily garage inspired, but when you combine that with the vocal, you get something slightly different. Like a middle ground between the two, which complement each other in different ways.
Were you looking at any specific eras or scenes as inspiration when you wrote this one?
The track started out with just the drums and the bass, with the intention of creating something fairly club-based. I’ve always been really into speed garage, and the resurgence it’s having at the moment made me want to try a similar thing, which inspired the bass line. But when I started to experiment with some other sounds in the melody, it started to change the mood. Once I had the chords laid out, the vocals fit so well and the track developed a feeling that was completely different to the one I had originally planned.
What can you tell us about the singer you worked with on this one?
The vocal on ‘What We’re Feeling’ is a sample. Once I had the instrumental finished, I went hunting for a vocal sample and I fortunately stumbled across the vocal you hear on the record. It fit so well and complemented each idea in the tune; I knew right then that I wasn’t going to sleep until I had finished it!
What can you tell us about the mix you’ve put together for us?
The mix bounces across different ideas primarily in the realm of two-step garage. When I approach mixes, I always intend to vary the mood of it as much as I possibly can, ultimately to not have the same ideas playing throughout the whole mix. My favourite mixes I have heard over the years have always been able to take you on a journey, and I guess that’s always something I always strive for within my DJing.
Tell us about your favourite bit of kit in the studio and why it’s important to you.
Recently, I found a Sequential Circuits Prophet Rev2, which has been pretty amazing to use as it is my first polysynth. That is probably my favourite piece of kit as, every time I use it, there are endless possibilities and routes to take which gives me so many options when making tunes.
What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your musical career so far?
Just stay true to what you really like, and naturally you will create something unique that is special to you.
What are you looking forward to next?
I have a two track EP dropping on the back end of next month, which features two fairly club-based ideas spanning from two-step garage to warehouse. Besides that, I am currently working hard in the studio getting tunes ready for next year.
Massive thanks to Klubikon for giving me a platform for my music!
You can find the tracklist for the 170th Klubikon Podcast by Tjaro HERE.